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tv   Tech Know  Al Jazeera  April 26, 2014 7:30pm-8:01pm EDT

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>> fault lines... al jazeera america's hard hitting... >> they're locking the door... ground breaking... >> we have to get out of here... truth seeking... award winning documentary series mexico's vigilante state only on al jazeera america meet troy, the dog who may have saved his master's life >> numbers ling up against zzli researchers put them to the test under laboratory conditions. >> dogs can identify any kind of cancer sample? >> dr. shini somara, a
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mechanical engineer. tonight, can doctors save lives by bringing them into suspended ant i medication? dr. dilworth, a molecular scientist and i am phil torres. i am an entomologist. >> that's our team. let's do some science. snoedz /* [ music ] >> guys, welcome to "techknow." joining me are car a santa maria, shini somara and krista dilworth. i am excited for today's episode because it involves one of the best animals out there, man's best friend, the dog. and cara, you got to play with a
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bunch of dogs. we know dogs make us happy but they can also potentially make us healthy. ? >> yeah. so there is evidence to show that dogs can actually detect cancer. and i got to visit the laboratory, some training facilities and even meet a woman whose dog detected her breast cancer. let's check it out. -year-old who grand chap pin rain dance or just plain troy as his family calls him is a pure-bread show dog but to his owner, he has a greater distinction. >> definitely credit him with saving my life. there is no question about it >> diane's family has a history of breast cancer. so she has been diligent about getting mammograms. in fact, she had been given a clean bill of health a few months before when troy, then a puppy started acting strangely. >> he is nuzzling and nuzzling.
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i am like what the heck is going on? i start to scratch because i am highly allergic to his dander. >> that's when i found the lump. he was trying to tell me something. he clearly smelled or sensed or whatever he did but he knew something was not right. >> that's what got me to feel the lump >> diane had a double mastectomy. she is healthy and cancer free now? >> god only knows what it could have been had he not detected it >> a woman who detected breast cancer in her dog had the favor returned >> there are countless media reports from local news stations ranging from ping 5 in washington, illinois and nbc 11 in georgia. so many, in fact, researchers around the world have spent considerable time and money figuring out why dogs are such super sniffers. >> a bloodhound has 300 million scent recenters in his nose. a human has 5. the dog's brain that analyzes those receptors is 40% larger
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than that of a human brain. when you look at a dog, the nose is half its face >> another advantage. humans use the same airway to breathe and smell. a dogs, one for olfaction, the other for res pration. breathing and smelling are two 13r59 functions. dogs can filter sense to a degree thooumz can't begin to comprehend. author and dog cognition researcher alexander horowitz breaks it down "inside of a dog." while humans may smell sugar in coffee, dogs can smell it in two olympic [ sighs ] swimming pools >> in west hills, the nc 2 foundation is screening and training dogs to detect cancer. master trainer dina safiris is choosing dogs based uponblied but more importantly, their pers personal tality >> good. get out.
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go. get it. get it. get it. get it. get it. so, it's not so much about having a good nose. it's more about having kind of the tenacity and the stamina? >> yes. >> it's the trainability, the willingness to want to repeat over and over again, wanting to do the same thing over and over again in a small room. so, and other dogs will become board by -- bored by it >> she trains dogs in something they can show interest in. the ball? >> it may be hidden deep in the box or the cancer. he can't get to his toy. so, he has to learn how to tell us. and just going up and down and sniffing and waiting for the one that's the right box is not good enough. now, we train him to sit or lie down or paw or bark at the correct one. so you are training what's called your alert. eventually once the dog can detect where the ball is hidden. dina introduces breath samples from actual cancer patients. that's right. researchers here and in germany are testing dogs' ability to smell cancer from a person's
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breath. a much less invasive method for patients. once you have your cancer samples, it's very, very important to understand how many samples you need, how to rotate these samples throughout time, how to use old samples to help the dog build confidence and then introduce a new one. there is a formula i developed. it's about 371 specific steps. >> having participated two federally funded strength detection studies, dina is ang to share what she is learning about man and woman's best friend. >> so where do dog trainers like yourself fit into this big picture of diagnosing and treating cancer? >> i think that dog trainers and doctors and scientists are like a pyramid here we need to help each other. i think that if we can all get together, i see myself as the bridge. i want to bring us together to help each other to start saving lives now. >> a good girl. >> that's a very good girl. >> i think dogs have always
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saved our lives and i think we are just now recognizing the many ways that they can do that. >> just ahead on "techknow," we go inside the lab where scientists, researchers and vetnarians have joined forces to try and build an enose that can detect cancer as accurately as our canine companions. >> that's the trajectory to produce an artificial system that could ideally be as good as the dog >> good! >> we want to hear what you think about these stories. join the conversation by following us on twitter and at aljazeera.com. consider this: the news of the day plus so much more. >> we begin with the government shutdown. >> answers to the questions no one else will ask. >> it seems like they can't agree to anything in washington no matter what. >> antonio mora, award winning and hard hitting. >> we've heard you talk about the history of suicide in your family. >> there's no status quo, just the bottom line.
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>> but, what about buying shares in a professional athlete? real perspective, consider this on al jazeera america real reporting that brings you the world. >> this is a pretty dangerous trip. >> security in beirut is tight. >> more reporters. >> they don't have the resources to take the fight to al shabaab. >> more bureaus, more stories. >> this is where the typhoon came ashore. giving you a real global perspective like no other can. >> al jazeera, nairobi. >> on the turkey-syria border. >> venezuela. >> beijing. >> kabul. >> hong kong. >> ukraine. >> the artic. real reporting from around the world. this is what we do. al jazeera america.
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>> as america strives for energy independence... >> we can't do it on just solar panels or some wind turbines... >> we look to alternatives >> you are sitting on top of a time bomb >> and the familiar... >> it's amazing what oil can do for ya...black gold >> and what are the human costs of the new energy boom? >> lots of men, and lots of money, your going to find prostitution
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>> people are just dropping like flies... >> we're paid with our lives... >> dirty power an america tonight special series only on al jazeera america welcome back to "techknow." cara, you just told us dogs can actually sniff out and detect cancer. >> true. >> pretty incredible. >> uh-huh. >> what doctors are doing with that information is even more incredible. >> it's true. dogs can smell cancer reliably but we don't know what it is in cancer that they are smelling. once we can figure that out, scientists should be able to
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create an electronic nose that will have wide-spread applications. check it out. they make up almost half a dog's face for a reason. the nose is a dog's most valuable tool. researchers at the university of pennsylvania are trying to reb plic indicate it. their goal is to create the earliest detection system possible particularly for things like ovarian cancer >> have you noticed dogs can identify any kind of cancer samp sample? >> there are studies out there that have shown dogs to be effective at a variety of cancers but can one dog detect all of them? is there a universal cancer odor? probably not. so what we are trying to do is focus on individual cancers and find out what that is. i suspect that will probably will always have individual tests for different cancers. >> the working dog center of
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penn school of veterinarian medicine has been training dogs in scent detection since the founder treated search and rescue canines did you 9-11. now they are training olen, tsunami and mcvein to sniff out cancer cells in tissue and most recently blood. the samples are donated by cancer patients >> this jar has the cancer plasma which is going in to arm 10 >> all right? >> i am going to get olen. we will be back and run olen on the mil >> can't wait. he is ready? >> he loves this game. ready? all right. >>. >> good boy! what a good boy.
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it is in, as he indicated >> these dogs are all given to the center by breeders. most come flu a long lineage of working dogs although a big part of the center's dog is to determine what kind of detection sutures each individual canine, only certain person a lot i did enjoy cancer research. >> this is mcvein. he likes balls not treats? >> he works well for the balls. >> he has a different reward based upon his personality. >> yes. >> are you ready, bud? are you ready? yes. good job. good job. >> good job >> it comes to cancer detection, we have heard individuals having their cancer detected by their pet. is the next story training dogs to detect cancer? >> i think we have to look at it in a little bit of a different
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way. the pets have detected cancer gave us the understanding dogs have the ability, but there will never, in our experience, be a time we have dogs walking through waiting rooms detecting cancer in people. what we are working with here is isolate what those chemicals are. >> dr. cynthia otto's work is underway at the university of pennsylvania. now, she takes her data and sends it to a top chemist who is attempting to isolate and identify the unique compounds that are present in a cancer patient that a dog can already smell. >> information is used by one of the university's most renowned physicists to attempt to develop a nano sense that can mimic's a dog's knows >> dr. at charlie johnson is in charge of building and programming that enose >> there are molecules floating
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in the air the dog is going to smell. they come from whatever he is smelling. the dog draws those molecules into his nose. they interact with cells in the dog's nose and those cells are different types of sensors. the dog has, i think it's more than a thousand different types of sensors. people only have 350. the enose will be made up of nano sensors from odorous compounds will be lightly applied over the sense for detection and analysis >> we would like to take the information from those nano sensors and process it using a computer, not a dog's brain and that's the trajectory we are on to try to produce an artificial system that could yudly be as good as the dog >> before that, scientists have to identify what the odorants are that dogs seem to detect >> it makes me wonder how can you make a sensor for a compound that you haven'yet identified? >> we have shown that it can detect compounds that people are
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inca incapable of detecting and this is very interesting and we obviously dogs can do this. right? it's possible because dogs do it. >> dr. otto says the university is two to five years away from experimentally diagnosing patients in clinical trials but she has no doubt her dogs will get there. >> in the meantime, our most loyal companions continue to awe us in and outside the lab >> i think of my dog. my dog is my best friend. i mean we play, and he provides me with love and comfort. it seems like dogs have really come full circle from when they first sort of co-evolved with humans? right? >> i think dogs have always saved our lives. i think we are just now recognizing the many ways that they can do that. i just have no limit to what they can do to make our lives richer.
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>> awhen i first heard this anecdote about a dog detecting someone's breast cancer, i was pretty skeptical because there are a lot of anecdotes out there like that, and that's not data. but what you found out blew my mind? >> the scientists are working around the clock to continue to collect data so that they can finally, publish and say this is consistent, reliable and people will be able to use that information. >> is there any breed of dog that can detect cancer, or is it specific? >> it's a good question. i always thought the best dogs to train were golden retrievers? >> germap shepherds? >> but apparently any dog can be trained to detect >> in the case of actually finding the cancer, are they just more obsessed about getting their reward at the end of it? >> that's exactly right. a dog doesn't care if it's so
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deeply trained into them that every time they find cancer, they get to play, they know that's a game. they want to play. every time they see non-cancer, they don't that reward. they want to find the cancer >> how are they applying this knowledge? are we training dogs to work in hospitals? >> it's funny. you would think that that would be the next step, but the trainers and the scientists all agreed, they don't want to bring dogs into hospitals. they want to keep dogs in a more sterile, kind of laboratory environment so that samples can be collected, sent to the dogs for detection and then sent back to the patients or the doctors for analysis. >> one of the other things i love about dogs besides the fact that they can apparently detect cancer is that they are pretty adorable. and you guys took some pictures out there shooting. >> i remember him. now, i will tell you, i don't think that this camera has cancer. i think the dog was just excited to see us >> really excited to see you guys. i would be excited to see you
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guys out there, too. if you want to check out more of our images from the field, be sure to follow us on instagram and tumblr. i love the piece. my only request and i think you guys agree is next time you work with these dogs, bring one here for us to play with? >> for sure >> coming up next, guys, science fiction comes to life. suspended ant antimation in the emergency room. we will take a look aftt that after the break.
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take a new look at news.
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hey, guys. well, back to "techknow." i am fill torres, joined by cara, jenny and crystal. doctors have always been atownse astounded by cases in which somebody could have fallen into a frozen late, their heart could have completely stopped yet they can be fully revived. they are now taking that lesson and applying it to the emergency room in a pretty incredible way. let's take a look. [ music ] >> it's the gunshot treatment heard around the world. as part of a new study, doctors at the university are working
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with shooting or stabbing victims using a revolutionary procedure that almost freezes patients in order to save them. >> suspended animation seen mostly until science fiction films is getting closer to reality. the entire body cool-down process takes 15 minutes during which time the patient is virtually lifeless emergency preservation and resuscitation is a non-sci-fi term for this procedure. here is how it works. doctors remove the patient's blood and replace it can sailing solution that halts almost all cellular activity chilling them to almost 50 degrees below body temperature >> these doctors already tried this out on piingdz. as you guys saw, they have been working on the dummies that look like humans but now, they are waiting for the first bit of human data. i am excited to see if this could save a life. you got the opportunity to talk to the doctor. what did you find out?
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>> i spoke to dr. fisherman, the lead researcher at the university of pittsburgh and i wanted to ask him a few questions about the whole concept because they have known about this science for decades. but only now have they passed it on to humans and really, you know, are they homing in on the details of this procedure. why do you think that they have waited so long? >> i think it's an exact science, you know. you are essentially slowing the mat ablism do you and how you actually do that needs to be determined by testing on humans because it was successful ol animals so far >> the way they are doing the trial, anyone affected by, you know, gunshot wounds in a certain area is going to be treated with this technique as a last resort. i think that that's really exciting but i wonder about the opportunity to opt out? what if i am suspicious and i don't want it used on me? >> the people that were involved in the clinical trials are legally dead. so they are suffering from a cardiac arrest anyway >> one of the things i kept thinking of when i was watching this is these doctors have
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looked to nature because sometimes in nature, you see animals that can actually freeze down, animals that can tolerate being really cold, and i know there are some of these researchers looking at what compounds are in those animal's bloods. frogs do it pretty often. it's pretty amazing. i am looking forward to see what they can pull fromnate and apply that to the situation >> that would be interesting >> challenges to freezing a cell? right? the high water content in cells causes big problems. ice crystals puncture cell walls, cells die and so we have to find other ways, other technology to get over this problem >> i think with the animal testing, they have had pretty good success with things coming back and it can be a bit trickier to determine brain function in something like a mouse compared to a human, but i mean they are resuscitating some who may have been brain dead for a minute. no minute a lot of damage can be done. what they are trying to do here is basically minimize that damage by cooling down the cells in the brain so they don't need that oxygen that otherwise would -- >> i think it's important to note that this is not about
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saving cells in the body. >> that's cryonics. this is about slowing down the metabolism and allowing doctors to actually buy themselves time so that they can really work on the injuries that caused this hemorrhaging in the first place. forty % of cases that go into a and e actually go because of blood loss >> wow? >> not the actually injuries in the first place >> you were mentioning that they didn't like the term suspended animation. what do they prefer to call it? >> i specifically asked dr. fisherman, why don't you like the media-coined term, suspended animation? he said because it doesn't actually express the urgency of this procedure. this is about emergency resuscitation. buying yourself time to be able to work on the human body whereas suspended animation kind of suggests this kind of, you know, infin ite amount of time of being in the state which is
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more like hibernation than it is in creating 45 minutes to allow surgeons to actually work on the injuries >> i am sure when it comes to an emergency situation, you know, 15 minutes, 45 minutes can be complete difference between life and death >> for sure. >> or brain damage and not >> one minute, five minutes is the difference between life and death. if that could be extended 30 to 45 missed, think about the procedures they would be able to complete >> i was reading in one minute of having a stroke, you could lose two million brain cells. this is kind of comparable to that. if they can control how much damage is being done, you know, cut that down to just five minutes, that can be a huge change >> jenny, how far away are we from knowing whether or not thes going to help us in human treatment? >> i think this is about really the clinical trials are about really learning how this is going to work on the human body because cells, when they do not receive oxygen start to degenerate. this procedure is about slowing down the cell's need for oxygen.
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and that's a very exact science so they need to determine how much of the say line solution to put into the body over what course of time, how to then bring the body back to life. there are so many things they need to learn. they have been successful in an male but a human being is a different organism. with cryogenics, they are thinking about bringing human beings back by 2045. this is more established than that, getting the science exactly right whereas cryogenics is a bit way out there >> there is quite a gradient of how much you cool down the body to be able to resuscitate it. i think this is a happy medium that should be able to to be aidentifiedd to real-world situations and every day emergency rooms >> there was another point i discussed with the doctor. if their temperatures are too cold for this procedure? and he said, yes, getting the temperature did just right is important.
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you don't want to freeze cells because the minute you do, as you said, you get into that ice crystal situation, and, you know having cells made up mostly of water, freeze/thaw and change the cell composition in the body and that can be dangerous. so, you know, it's that fine line of getting it right >> it will be amaze to go see where it can actually go, if this becomes standard in, you know, even 10, 20 years, where if you go in and you are bleeding out, they just cool down your body so no damage is being done, sew you right up, put the warm blood. obviously it's not that simple but it could get there? >> it's crazy because to the outside, it will seem like, you know, a modern day miracle. >> i think it's really exciting as an innovation because it could be the start of human preservation, and, yes, that's very sci-fi, but, you know, it's not entirely -- >> it's hard to look at a story like this and not think about cry onics or cryogenics.
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can we freeze our bodies completely and come back in 20 years? >> we can freeze, no problem. i think it's the readovating we are having difficulty with >> you would do better to save tissue and clone yourself from the dna >> another absolutely fascinating episode from dogs that can sniff out cancer to cooling down the human body and re animating it in the emergency room. i can't wait to see what you guys come up with next week here on "techknow" >>dive deep into these stories and go behind the scenes at aljazeera.com/techknow. on goinggoogle+, twitter and mo >> small creatures, big impact tendon
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